Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LACHRYMOSE WRITERS, by HORACE SMITH



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LACHRYMOSE WRITERS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Ye human screech-owls, who delight
Last Line: To bless the exhaustless grace they now deny.
Alternate Author Name(s): Smith, Horatio
Subject(s): Earth; Life; Soul; Writing & Writers; World


YE human screech-owls, who delight
To herald woe -- whose day is night,
Whose mental food is misery and moans,
If ye must needs uphold the pall,
And walk at Pleasure's funeral,
Be Mutes -- and publish not your cries and groans.

Near a menagerie to dwell,
Annoyed by ceaseless groan and yell,
Is sad, altho' we cannot blame the brutes;
A far worse neighbour is the man
Whose study is a Caravan,
Whence the caged monster ever howls and hoots.

Ye say that Earth's a charnel -- life
Incessant wretchedness and strife --
That all is doom below, and wrath above,
The sun and moon sepulchral lamps,
The sky a vault, whose baleful damps
Soon blight and moulder all that live and love.

Man, as your diatribes aver,
Only makes reason minister
To deeds irrational and schemes perverse;
Human in name, he proves in all
His acts a hateful animal,
And woman (monstrous calumny) is worse.

This earth, whose walls are stony gloom,
Whose roof rains tears, whose floor's a tomb
With its chain-rattling beach and lashing waves,
Is, ye maintain, a fitting jail
Where felon man the woes may wail,
From which no prudence guards, no mercy saves.

Even were it true, this lachrymose
List of imaginary woes,
Why from our sympathy extort more tears?
Why blazon grief -- why make the Press
Groan with repinings and distress,
Why knell despair for ever in our ears?

Ungrateful and calumnious crew,
Whose plaints, as impious as untrue,
From morbid intellects derive their birth;
Away! begone to mope and moan,
And weep in some asylum lone,
Where ye may rail unheard at heaven and earth.

Earth! on whose stage in pomp arrayed
Life's joyous interlude is played,
Earth! with thy pageants ever new and bright,
Thy woods and waters, hills and dales,
How dead must be the soul that fails
To see and bless thy beauties infinite!

Man! whose high intellect supplies
A never-failing Paradise
Of holy and enrapturing pursuits,
Whose heart's a fount of fresh delight,
Pity the Cynics who would blight
Thy godlike gifts, and rank thee with the brutes.

Oh Woman! who from realms above
Hast brought to Earth the heaven of love,
Terrestrial angel, beautiful as pure!
No pains, no penalties dispense
On thy traducers -- their offence
Is its own punishment most sharp and sure.

Father and God! whose love and might
To every sense are blazoned bright
On the vast three-leaved Bible -- earth -- sea -- sky,
Pardon the impugners of thy laws,
Expand their hearts and give them cause
To bless the exhaustless grace they now deny.





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